(L-R) PSEKA President Philip Christopher, Cyprus Ambassador Marios Lysiotis, Congressman Chris Pappas, Cyprus Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis, Mike Manatos, AHEPA Board Chair Nick Karacostas

Over 40 US Foreign Policymakers
Participate in
38th Annual PSEKA Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference

WASHINGTON, DC, May 23, 2023 – The most consequential foreign policymakers in the United States Congress from both parties participated in the 38th Annual Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference May 9-11 as over 100 Cypriot and Greek-American leaders converged on Capitol Hill.  The conference was hosted by PSEKA and its President Philip Christopher and co-hosted by many of the top national Greek-American organizations including: AHEPA, AHI, CEH, HALC, FCAO, HANC and the US-Cyprus Chamber of Commerce.  The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides was represented at this important conference by Cyprus Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis.

(L-R) Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez; Ranking Member James Risch joined by U.S. Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis and Tom Katsilometes of Idaho


Both the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and James Risch (R-ID), and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressmen Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY), addressed conference participants and turned the focus on Cyprus for a day.

In addition, the Chairs of the Senate and House Europe Subcommittees, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Congressman Thomas Kean (R-NJ), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), and the Chairman of the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) met with conference participants.

(L-R) House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, Chris Pappas; Ranking Member Gregory Meeks, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and John Georges
(L-R) Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Philip Christopher; House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Dennis Mehiel

The highest-ranking Democratic officials in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) also spoke, along with House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Senate Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Former Chairs of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) also spoke at length with conference participants during their panel, The Cyprus Issue – Then and Now.

These leaders from both parties and branches of Congress were joined by dozens of their Senate and House colleagues who are key to the formulation of U.S. policy on Cyprus, Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate and spent numerous hours speaking about and listening to the many elements that demonstrate Cyprus’s importance to the United States.

(L-R) Greek Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulou, Europe Subcommittee Chair Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Ambassador Tsunis, Spokesman Letymbiotis, Ambassador Lysiotis; Former House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairs Ed Royce and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Andy Manatos

Biden Administration

From the Biden Administration, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan received the “soil award.” Because his international trip was extended, he was not able to return to Washington in time to attend the conference.  He plans to soon meet with a delegation of community leaders to receive this award.  In addition, the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Erika Olson, Director and Deputy Director for Southern European Affairs, Joshua Huck and David Galbraith, as well as Deputy to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former National Security Advisor to then-Vice President Biden, Jeff Prescott attended.  

At the Conference dinner U.S. Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis was honored with the Athens/Livanos Award, while Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Jessica Lewis was honored with the Frizis Award.  Former Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, former US Ambassador to Greece Tom Miller, and former Assistant Secretary of State Marie Royce also attended.

(L-R) Philip Christopher, Ambassador Lysiotis, Spokesman Letymbiotis; Philip Christopher, Ambassador Lysiotis, Spokesman Letymbiotis, Ambassador Tsunis, Paul Athens, Ambassador Papadopoulou

Cyprus and Greece Governments

Greece was represented by its Ambassador to the U.S. Alexandra Papadopoulou whose impactful work in Washington, DC over the last three years has been instrumental to the strength of US-Greece relations.

Cyprus Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis, in addressing US policymakers and conference participants said:

The potential of a united Cyprus – as a normal and functional state – without anachronistic guarantees and without an occupying force – is limitless. A free and reunified Cyprus could play an even greater role in promoting peace and stability in the region.

The United States has begun to acknowledge this potential and given Cyprus a vote of confidence. Our bilateral relationship, built on a shared vision of security, stability, peace, and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean, is at a historic high…

With your help, we can discover opportunities to further expand our bilateral relationship…

While we persist in our diplomatic and political efforts, we ask of you to continue your advocacy and your tireless work to strengthen the bonds between the United States and Cyprus. Relations with the US are certainly at the core of our foreign policy, which has a clear orientation. Let us demonstrate that Cyprus is one of the most reliable democratic partners to the US….  

The suffering of the Ukrainian people is no different to what Cypriots are experiencing in the last 49 years, with thousands of refugees still waiting to return to their homes and people still searching for the fate of their loved ones….

The Government of the Republic of Cyprus recognizes your great and selfless love for our homeland- for our Cyprus- and your deep investment in ending the occupation and reunifying our country…

I know that 49 years are way too many. But spare no efforts and keep your faith.

In addition to Letymbiotis, Cyprus was represented by its Ambassador to the U.S. Marios Lysiotis who was honored for his exemplary service to Cyprus over the last four years in Washington, DC and for his close work with community leaders in promoting justice for Cyprus.

(L-R) Former Appropriations Committee Chair Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro; Paul Kotrotsios, Mariyana Spyropoulos, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Spiros Mantzavinos
(L-R) Mike Manatos, Tasos Zambas, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart; Congressman Chris Smith, Spokesman Letymbiotis, Savas Tsivicos

US Congress

While a remarkable 39 US Senators and Members of Congress met with conference participants, equally as important was the powerful positions they hold in the US Congress. They included:

In the US House of Representatives:


  • House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
  • House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA)
  • Assistant Majority Whip Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY)
  • Assistant Democratic Whip Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) – and likely next US Senator from DE

Foreign Affairs Committee

  • Chairman, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
  • Ranking Member, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
  • Chair, Europe Subcommittee, Rep. Thomas Kean (R-NJ)
  • Europe Subcommittee, Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) 
  • Chair, Global Human Rights Subcommittee, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
  • Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL)
  • Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) 

Appropriations Committee

  • Former Chair/Ranking Member, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
  • Chair, State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
  • State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)
  • State Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Rep. Jerry Carl (R-AL)

Armed Services Committee

  • Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ)

Other key policymakers

  • Co-Chair, Hellenic Caucus / Co-Chair, Hellenic Israeli Alliance, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
  • Co-Chair, Hellenic Caucus, Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH)
  • Co-Chair, Congressional Hellenic Israeli Alliance, Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI)
  • Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) 
  • Ranking Member, House Energy Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
  • Chair, National Intelligence Subcommittee, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Co-Chair, Human Rights Commission, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)
  • Ranking Member, Counterterrorism Subcommittee, Rep. Seth Magaziner (D-RI) 
  • Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Rob Menendez, Jr. (D-NJ)
  • Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA)
  • Intelligence Committee Member, Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)
(L-R) Nick Karacostas, Philip Christopher, Spokesman Letymbiotis, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, AHEPA Supreme President Jimmy Karacostas, Savas Tsivicos, AHI President Nick Larigakis; Philip Christopher, Spokesman Letymbiotis, Congressman Chris Pappas, Savas Tsivicos, Ambassador Papadopoulou, Ambassador Lysiotis
(L-R) Congresswoman Grace Meng and Congressman John Sarbanes; Philip Christopher, Mike Manatos, Congresswoman Dina Titus
(L-R) Andy Comodromos and Congressman Gus Bilirakis; George Horiates and Congressman Andy Kim

In the US Senate:


  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
  • Senate Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Foreign Relations Committee

  • Chairman, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
  • Ranking Member, Senator James Risch (R-ID)
  • Chair, Europe Subcommittee, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Chair, East Asia, Pacific & International Cybersecurity Policy Subcommittee, Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
  • Chair, State Department, Bilateral International Development Subcommittee, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) 
  • Chair, Near East, South & Central Asia Subcommittee, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Armed Services Committee

  • Chairman, Armed Services Committee, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Senator Dick Blumenthal (D-CT)
(L-R) Philip Christopher, Senator Jack Reed; Andy Manatos, Ambassador Papadopoulou, John Louizos, Senator Chris Murphy
(L-R) Philip Christopher, Endy Zemenides; Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin


Those honored at the conference included: 

  • White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan [Soil Award]
  • US Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis [GP/Livanos Award]
  • Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Jessica Lewis [Frizis Award]
  • Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee Mike McCaul (R-TX) [Soil Award]
  • Chair, Senate Europe Subcommittee, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) [Barbed Wire Award]
  • House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) [James Williams Award]
  • House Assistant Majority Whip Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) [Barbed Wire Award]
  • Co-Chair, Hellenic Caucus, Congressman Chris Pappas [Mouyiaris/GP Award]
  • Co-Chair, Congressional Hellenic Israeli Alliance (CHIA), Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) 
  • Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Congressman Chris Pappas, Jake Friedman [Conalis-Kontou Award]
  • Ambassador of Cyprus to the US Marios Lysiotis
(L-R) Congressman Jerry Carl and Greg Saad of Alabama; Tassos Efstratiades, Savas Tsivicos and Congressman Donald Norcross

Community Leaders 

Over 100 Cypriot and Greek-American leaders from across the country attended, including the leadership of the following organizations: 

  • President, International Coordinating Committee – Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), Philip Christopher
  • Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH), Andrew E. Manatos
  • President, Manatos & Manatos, Mike Manatos
  • Supreme President, American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), Jimmy Kokotas
  • President, American Hellenic Institute (AHI), Nick Larigakis
  • Executive Director, Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), Endy Zemenides
  • Executive Vice President, Federation of Cypriot-American Organizations (FCAO), Nikos Pafitis
  • Immediate Past President, Hellenic American National Council (HANC), Paul Kotrotsios
  • President, Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce, Maria Pappas
  • Delaware State Senator, Spiros Mantzavinos
  • Commissioner, Greater Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Mariyana Spyropoulos
  • Supreme Secretary, AHEPA, Savas Tsivicos
  • Board Chairman, AHEPA, Nick Karacostas
  • Board Vice-Chairman/Past Supreme President, AHEPA, George Horiates
  • President, Canadian Order of AHEPA, Emmanuel Constas
  • Executive Director, AHEPA, Basil Mossaidis
  • Executive Director, Daughters of Penelope, Elena Saviolakis
  • Alternate President, PSEKA, Tasos Zambas
  • Founding President & Honorary Chairman, Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce, Andreas Comodromos
  • Executive Director, Cyrus-US Chamber of Commerce, Despina Axiotakis
  • Treasurer, Pancyprian Association of America, Chris Skevas
  • President, American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF), Leon Andris
  • Legal Counselor, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Peter Kakoyiannis
  • General Secretary, Hellenic American National Council (HANC), Panagiotis Baltatzis
  • President, NEPOMAK, Andrew Lambiris
  • President, Friends of Cyprus USA, Panayiotis Michael
  • President, Pancyprian Association of Washington, DC, Dino Miltiadou
  • President, Pancyprian Association of Florida, Varnavas Zagaris
  • Vice President, Cyprus Society of Greater Philadelphia, Stelios Tsinontides
  • Vice President, Federation of Cypriot American Organizations, Chris Nicolaou
  • President, Asgata Association, Peter Louca
  • President, Cyprus Children’s Fund, Nicos Zittis
  • Federation of Hellenic Societies of Florida, Peter Theophanous

 Overseas Representatives 

  • Consul General of Cyprus in New York, Michalis Firillas
  • Defense Attaché, Embassy of Greece, Colonel Panagiotis Vlachopoulos
  • Mayor of Kythrea, Cyprus, Petros Kareklas
  • Mayor of Akanthou, Cyprus, Eleni Hadjimichail
  • Honorary Consul of Cyprus in Atlanta, Polyxeni Potter
  • Honorary Consul of Cyprus in Chicago, Michael Dovellos
  • Union of Occupied Communities of Famagusta Region, Panagiotis Hadjipantelis
  • Occupied Communities Committee, Eleftherios Antoniou
  • Representative of Cypriot Maronites, Maria Kokkinou
  • Lobby for Cyprus United Kingdom, George Mouktaris
  • Lobby for Cyprus United Kingdom, Theo Theodorou
  • Daughter of missing US citizen and WW II veteran Kyriacos Leontiou, Maria Leontiou
To see more photos from the conference by Bill Petros, please click here.